The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, and other personalities were present.
In his address, the Prime Minister congratulated the temporary Prison Officers who were enlisted in the months of June/July 2018 for embracing this noble profession and for having successfully completed the intensive training programme. For year 2018, he recalled, the Prison Training School provided training on a residential basis with the aim to provide a more comprehensive training. Mr Jugnauth expressed confidence that the residential training has will certainly add value to the MPS.
Prime Minister Jugnauth urged the temporary Prison Officers to abide at all times to the Oath of allegiance they have sworn in so as to shoulder their responsibilities as well as to be vigilant and daring in performing their duties since they will be serving the community in the different prisons of Mauritius. He called on them to exercise their skills and talent in keeping detainees safe and in humane custody while assisting them to become law-abiding citizens.
Speaking about the MPS, the Prime Minister highlighted that Government is implementing several measures to modernise the Service with enhanced security being the top most priority. The Prison Department, he pointed out, has been upgraded with high-tech equipment to facilitate the task of Prison Officers in dealing with illicit activities. The equipment include the acquisition of a drone for surveillance and setting up of a new CCTV system at Beau Bassin and New Wing Prison.
Key measures taken comprise the re-opening of the high-security prison in Phoenix early this year and implementation of E-prison phase 1. The Prime Minister also mentioned that a sum of Rs 2 million has been earmarked in Budget 2018-2019 to further develop the system as well as to implement phase 2. The extension of the project to Rodrigues is in the pipeline, he added.
In addition, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted two issues which are high on the MPS’s agenda namely: the rate of recidivism and the cost of maintenance of prisons’ infrastructure. Bold and drastic measures have been taken during the past two years to address these pressing issues, he said.
Moreover, the Prime Minister acknowledged that detainees have the potential to change while adding that services of committed Government Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations have been enlisted to support detainees who are determined to lead a respectable life after release. In fact, the detainees are provided with Mauritius Institute of Training and Development MQA approved training programmes geared towards rehabilitation of offenders to facilitate their reintegration in the society, he indicated.
As regards the scourge of drugs, the Prime Minister called on all stakeholders including the Prison Department to initiate actions to counter drugs problems. He reiterated his pledge to take firm and bold measures to fight this scourge.
The Passing out Parade ceremony was followed by a presentation of medals to the best recruits. The Best All Round Trainee Prison Officer and Baton of Honor was awarded to Mr Jokhoo Chiranjeev; the Best Women Trainee Prison Officer to Ms Triton Marie Melany Angel; the Best Shot to Mr Palmyre Louis Kinsley Arnegio; and the Best Athlete to Mr Mootoola Louis Jason.
Training of New Recruits
During the course of their six-month intensive training at the Prison Training School, the temporary Prison Officers were exposed to basic prison duties, drill, and physical exercise.
The training also covered new topics such as human rights, first aid, response to emergencies, prevention of suicide and self-harm, self defense, customer care, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, communication skills, listening and counselling techniques.